tumble down to Elbe’s banks,
passing Sea-Captains houses
they thread through ages,
history preserved by salty air
friend and foe have sailed this course,
steamers, containers and ferrymen,
even mop haired musicians came and went.
The Strand Hotel welcomes walkers
hot chocolate and rum to go,
well heeled ladies take time to talk
while serious men meet quietly in corners.
The dock sits grey stripped by winter
flag-masts clink their metal chains,
the man-made beach its castles conquered
its play park silent, no sign of games.
This filtered estuary its residue, its wealth,
here the stain of commerce sits,
a manifestation of a nations health
a thin veneer of silvered glitz.